MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — Police have made a major discovery in the case of missing beauty queen Catherine Camilon.
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Police Major General Romeo Caramat Jr. told ABS-CBN News that the DNA in hair strands and blood samples found in an abandoned SUV matched that of DNA samples collected from Camilon's family.
“Forensic evidence like ‘yung strands of hair at swab of blood na narecover natin doon sa Honda CRV na allegedly ginamit ng mga suspek na pinaglipatan ng katawan ni Miss Camilon ay nag-match doon sa DNA sample na kinuha natin sa parents ni Miss Camilon,” he told ABS-CBN News.
“It only says na ‘yung sinasabi ng mga witnesses natin na nakita nila na binubuhat si Miss Camilon ay positive. Confirmed na si Miss Camilon ‘yung nakita nila,” Caramat added.
Caramat also said that the charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention will remain until they find Camilon.
"Yung kaso natin ay sinampa natin doon sa mga suspect will remain kidnapping and serious illegal detention, dahil up to now hindi pa natin nakikita o narerecover yung katawan ni Miss Camilon," he said.
"Hindi pa natin alam kung siya ay buhay o patay na, but in the absence of that nga, it will remain kidnapping and serious illegal detention muna yung ikakaso natin. So yun po yung ginagawa ng CIDG operatives natin na tuloy-tuloy yung paghanap na sana makita pa natin si Miss Camilon,” he added.
The Philippine National Police believes the matching of the DNA samples will further strengthen the statements of two witnesses, saying they saw three men carrying a bloodied woman from a Nissan Juke vehicle to a Honda CR-V.
"Malaki ang maitutulong nito," PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo told reporters on Tuesday.
"Itong positive match sa DNA profile ng magulang ng nawawalang biktima ay, ibig sabihin, ang ating biktima ay sumakay o present doon, ito ay nagpapatunay na doon siya sa recovered red CRV."
She went on: "Hindi lang basta circumstantial evidence. This would prove the presence of the victim in the recovered CRV. Ito ay magko-corroborate sa 2 witnesses’ statements na may nakita silang duguang babaeng inililipat that would give us more credence na ang biktimang nakita nila ay ang nawawalang biktima."
Authorities are still looking into the identification of the CRV’s owner, but the Juke is owned by Police Major Allan De Castro, who has admitted to having a relationship with the victim and is currently under restrictive custody at the Calabarzon police headquarters.
Camilon, a Miss Grand Philippines 2023 candidate, was last seen by her family on October 12.
A police officer, De Castro, and three others are allegedly involved in the disappearance of Camilon.
—with reports from Jeff Caparas, Lyza Aquino, and Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News